Myth, Metaphysics and Dialectic in Plato's Statesman  book cover
1st Edition

Myth, Metaphysics and Dialectic in Plato's Statesman

ISBN 9781138276017
Published November 29, 2016 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Plato's dialogue The Statesman has often been found structurally puzzling by commentators because of its apparent diffuseness and disjointed transitions. In this book David White interprets the dialogue in ways which account for this problematic structure, and which also connect the primary themes of the dialogue with two subsequent dialogues The Philebus and The Laws. The central interpretive focus of the book is the extended myth, sometimes called the 'myth of the reversed cosmos'. As a result of this interpretative approach, White argues that The Statesman can be recognized (a) as both internally coherent and also profound in implication-the myth is crucial in both regards - and (b) as integrally related to the concerns of Plato's later dialogues.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: the Statesman and metaphysics; The dialectical road to myth [257a-68d]; The cosmos motion, matter, measure [268d-74e]; Paradigms: knowledge and reality [274e-83b]; Measurement and dialectic [283b-7b]; The art of statecraft [287b-311c]; The good: Statesman and Philebus; The good and the aporetic structure of the Statesman; Epilogue: statecraft, metaphysics and the Laws; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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David A. White is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, DePaul University, Chicago, USA.


'This book makes a valuable contribution to the interpretation of Plato's Statesman, especially in regard to its relationship to the Philebus.' Journal of Hellenic Studies 'There is plenty to be grateful for in this book, especially in its account of the centrality of the myth in the dialogue, and as a thorough investigation of a difficult dialogue.' The Heythrop Journal 'White's observations are detailed and often incisive, greater in number than could be summed up in a brief review, and there is much to reward even the reader who is not persuaded by the overall argument.' Ancient Philosophy 'While this book is, at times difficult to read, it is worth it to the scholar of Plato to work through the text in order to consider White’s astute observations and unique interpretations.' Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy